One of the glorious things about the summer is how much time there is to spend outside. The general good weather allows for plenty of time to soak up the sun. However, all of this time outside can do some serious damage if proper care isn’t given to skin. The chances of sunburn, wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer greatly increase this time of year, as the sun’s rays are especially strong. There are a couple of easy ways to protect skin from major damage and to feel fresh on a hot summer day.
● An essential step in any daily skin-care routine is to apply a moisturizer with SPF each morning after washing your face. The SPF should be at least 15, but 20 to 30 is even better. This provides a good base of protection while keeping your face moist and fresh. For those who tend toward oily skin, there are great oil-free moisturizers that still have SPF in them.
● Whether it’s at the beach, a soccer game or a family picnic, the liberal application of sunscreen on all exposed skin is an important step to remember before leaving the house. Sunscreen is most effective when applied prior to sun exposure, and for all-over protection, start with at least an SPF 30, if not higher. Reapply every two hours to keep yourself covered. Sunburn is painful, and if it can be avoided, why not shoot for that and keep skin looking healthy and young?
● Unless you are one of the hyper-diligent few, there will inevitably be a time when someone in the family gets a bit of too much sun. There are several great after-sun lotions that help soothe the pain of a sunburn, combining aloe with moisturizers to rejuvenate skin. However, if you don’t want to buy a special lotion, aloe vera gel does wonders to cool a bad burn.
● Changing up your makeup routine during the summer can keep you looking fresh and dewy. Instead of using a liquid foundation, opting for a mineral powder with SPF 15 will keep your face from excess oil and make everything feel more light and fresh. Bronzer gives cheeks a tinted glow and makes you look beautifully sun-kissed. Waterproof mascara will carry you through all sorts of summer adventures without running or smudging. And, especially in the summer, remember to regularly apply lip balm with SPF to protect lips from getting dry and burnt; nobody likes the look of parched lips.
● A wide-brimmed hat not only looks fabulous but also protects the sensitive skin on the ears, neck and around the eyes from sun damage. While sunscreen is helpful, the physical barrier of a hat, and even sunglasses with UV protection, is great for these sensitive areas.
● Staying saturated in vitamins and antioxidants can do wonders for skin. Getting enough Vitamin D can protect from sunburn and susceptibility to skin cancer. Vitamin A, found in retinol cream, exfoliates the top layer of skin cells while boosting collagen and elastin under the skin. Retinol cream is most effective when applied at night, as sun exposure after application makes the retinoids less active. Antioxidants can help protect against tissue damage and illness. Green tea and various berries, especially blueberries and blackberries, are high in antioxidants. Antioxidant creams are also available, and are a great addition to a morning skin-care routine. It can be applied between washing your face and applying your regular moisturizer.
● Finally, drinking a lot of water can do more for skin than a number of lotions and moisturizers. Many people, especially in the summer, get dehydrated, which not only results in sickness and exhaustion, but can leave skin looking dull and dry. When fully hydrated, skin looks healthier and the body feels better!